State of Missouri v. Anthony Joe Larette

648 S.W. 2d 96 (Mo. banc 1983)

Anthony Joe Larette was executed November 29, 1995

Case Facts:  On July 25, 1980 a white male was observed driving a cream-colored convertible circling an apartment complex in St. Charles, Missouri. At approximately 11:00 a.m., an individual later identified as Anthony Larette was seen running from the direction of the apartment toward the cream-colored convertible. Larette got into the convertible and drove away.

At about the same time, Mary Fleming was seen, by a couple who lived in a neighboring apartment complex, running from her apartment. She was bloody and naked except for a bikini top. She made it to the couple’s front door where she collapsed, bleeding profusely. Police and medical aid arrived shortly, Ms. Fleming died shortly thereafter at a local hospital

Death was attributed to the victim having bled to death from stab wounds to the chest and a throat cut from ear to ear. One chest wound penetrated a lung and the second penetrated her heart. A tip of a metal blade was found in her lung. She had numerous other “defense” cuts to her fingers and hands.

An examination of the Fleming apartment revealed that to be the scene of the crime. Blood was found in the living room and kitchen areas on clothing, floors, furniture and walls.

A companion of Larette’s became nervous after reading and hearing of news accounts linking his convertible to the murder. Larette had gone to stay with relatives in Topeka, Kansas. The companion called Larette who admitted to him that he had gone into the Fleming apartment to commit a burglary and had killed Mary Fleming. During one phone conversation a detective of the St. Charles Police Department also listened.

Larette was eventually taken into custody. He admitted his involvement to police stating he killed Ms. Fleming because she lied to him. Larette told Ms. Fleming not to scream and she would not be hurt. Afterward the victim began screaming and Larette attacked her.

Legal Chronology

06/14 – (Topeka, Kansas) Larette was arrested for Pocket Picking and was sentenced to serve one to four years in the Kansas Department of Corrections.

07/23 – (Lawrence, Kansas) Larette arrested for Rape and Burglary. He was sentenced to five to twenty years in Kansas Department of Corrections.

06/02 – Larette was sentenced to serve six months on a bond default in the custody of the United States Attorney-General. The original charge of Theft of Government Property was dismissed.

08/01 – Larette arrested in Topeka, Kansas and was sentenced to one to ten year in the Kansas Department of Corrections. Sentence was suspended and Larette was placed on five years probation and one year in the county jail.

7/25 – Anthony J. Larette slashes the throat of Mary Fleming from ear to ear. She dies from this wound.
11/14 – Anthony J. Larette was charged by information in St. Charles county Circuit Court for capital murder for the death of Mary Fleming.

1/14 – Venue was transferred to Warren County Cicuit Court.
8/11-14 – Larette was tried in the Circuit Court of Warren County and was found guilty of capital murder. The jury recommended a sentence of death.
10/7 – A motion for a new trial was denied, and Larette was sentenced to death for killing Mary Fleming.
10/14 – A notice of appeal was filed.

3/29 – The Missouri Supreme Court affirmed Larette’s conviction and sentence.
10/11 – The United States Supreme Court denied certiorari.
12/21 – Larette filed a Rule 27.26 motion for post conviction relief in the Circuit Court of Warren County.

6/12 – The motion for post conviction relief was denied.
7/17 – a notice of appeal was filed.

11/26 – The Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, affirmed the denial of post conviction relief.

4/11 – Larette filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.
10/9 – Larette filed a second post conviction in Warren County Circuit Court.

11/30 – The Circuit Court denied relief.

7/26 – The Missouri Court of Appeals affirmed the Circuit Court’s denial of relief.

5/10 – The petition for writ of habeas corpus was denied by the federal district court

3/1 – The district court declined to reconsider its decision.

1/11 – The United States Court of appeals for the Eighth Cicuit affirmed the District Court’s order.
3/27 – Rehearing was denied by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Larette’s petition for writ of certiorari was denied.
10/2 – Larette’s petition for writ of certiorari denied by the United States Supreme Court.
10/12 – The Missouri Supreme Court sets November 29, 1995 as the execution date for Anthony Joe Larette.